Review: The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores

The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores

The Firebird Song
Arnée Flores
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Published June 8, 2021

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About The Firebird Song

The Kingdom of Lyrica was once warm and thriving, kept safe by the Firebird, whose feather and song was a blessing of peace and prosperity. But the Firebird disappeared, and Lyrica is now terrorized by the evil Spectress who wields her powers from within a volcano. All that remains is a mysterious message scrawled on the castle wall in the Queen’s own hand: Wind. Woman. Thief.

Young Prewitt has only known time without the Firebird, a life of constant cold, as his village is afraid to tempt the volcano monsters with … Continue reading

Review: Clifton Chase on Castle Rock by Jaimie Engle

Clifton Chase on Castle Rock by Jaimie Engle

Clifton Chase on Castle Rock (Clifton Chase Adventures #2)
Jaimie Engle
JME Books
Published November 24, 2020

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About Clifton Chase on Castle Rock

History tends to repeat itself…sorta.

Clifton Chase just wanted life to go back to “normal” again. But things were starting to happen. Two kids showed up at school that looked just like the princes from 1485, Clifton thought he was being followed, and then a hob thrush showed up in his closet and stole the Arrows of Light. Clifton wanted no part in this adventure. Until he learned that someone he knew was … Continue reading

Review: Nevertell by Katharine Orton

Nevertell by Katharine Orton

Nevertell
Katharine Orton
Walker Books US
Published April 14, 2020

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About Nevertell

After escaping a Soviet prison camp, Lina is pursued by a powerful witch and her shadow wolves in a riveting debut that imbues frozen wilderness with fairy-tale magic.

All that twelve-year-old Lina knows of the world is the Stalinist labor camp where she was born, a place of hunger, cruelty, and deprivation. After a daring escape into the frigid Siberian wilds with her best friend, Bogdan, Lina vows to reach Moscow and find her long-lost grandmother, whom she hopes will help her return to the camp to rescue … Continue reading

Review: Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson

Ways to Make Sunshine
Renée Watson
Bloomsbury Children’s
Published April 28, 2020

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About Ways to Make Sunshine

Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipies, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But … Continue reading

Review: Fire in the Star by Kamilla Benko

Fire in the Star by Kamilla Benko

Fire in the Star (The Unicorn Quest #3)
Kamilla Benko
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published February 18, 2020

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About Fire in the Star

After a lifetime of being the younger sister–of letting Sophie fight her battles, of following her on countless Experiences and through a fireplace into a magical land–it’s finally Claire Martinson’s turn to lead. And she’ll do anything to keep her big sister safe: resist the wraiths’ cold shadows, experiment with new and dangerous … Continue reading

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends
Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher

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It begins with the closing of the principal’s speech at Opportunity High. Confusion rustles through the auditorium as students discover the locked doors. Then one door opens, and a boy enters. A boy with a gun.

Four alternating viewpoints, each a student with a connection to the shooter, relate this tense, heartbreaking tale about a community ripped apart by violence. The story spans fifty-four minutes.

This Is Where It Ends includes a diverse body of characters across lines of race, religion, and sexual preference. As a YA reader and reviewer, I’ve commented before that I wish there were more stories … Continue reading